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Poster: Earl B. Powell Date: Sep 10, 2009 12:28pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: skies post

In 1992 Mr. Earl & secretary receptacle took a business trip to Hawaii from the East Coast. Jet lagged, we woke up in the hotel at 4:30 in the morning with little to do, so we went for a drive to Makaha and stopped in the park there.

We walked around for a while and were headed back to the car when I heard this angelic "guitar" music coming from nearby. The sun was just coming up and sitting on a picnic table among some empty beer cans was "Iz" and another guy with two different sized ukes, just jamming away.

I've got to say that it was the purest, most beautiful sound I've ever heard. If I could go back to that day and listen again, I'd do it day after day. (Even though we were kind of intruding or so it seemed at the time, and got that "go home haole" stare.)

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Poster: cosmic charlie dupree Date: Sep 10, 2009 1:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: skies post

I'll sidestep the secretary bit, but that is a great story. Truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you fell into. I'm willing to bet you have an album or two of his now....

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Poster: Earl B. Powell Date: Sep 10, 2009 2:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: skies post

I really had no idea who it was until earlier this year when I was putting together a kids CD for "family" trips and did some further research. The only Hawaiian musicians I was aware of were Don Ho and Gabby Pahinui, so I thought I had just happened across a "folk" moment.

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Poster: cosmic charlie dupree Date: Sep 10, 2009 3:00pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: skies post

Amazing... I guess with his immense proportions, it was easy to put 2 & 2 together long after the fact. Very cool!

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Poster: Diamondhead Date: Sep 10, 2009 3:58pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: skies post

You were most fortunate on two accounts. One, you sat in front of Iz in the most intimate of situations and two, you went to Makaha and your ass is still in one piece.

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Poster: Earl B. Powell Date: Sep 10, 2009 4:04pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: skies post

Yeah: It took me a couple days to get a feel for not only the criminal element, but the rapid escalation into violence that was possible amongst street thugs. Not an issue. Ever.

I spent 2 weeks there and learned an awful (literally) lot about the culture. I now count the Hawaiian natives among the Cherokees and other native peoples that have been screwed by the brutal march of capitalism. I have no need to return as by the end of this trip all I could think of was the fucking that the people endured, without means of escape.

I was steamfitter doing a job on the main steam valve at Hawaii Electric and the class system reared it's ugly head every day on the job. I kept my mouth shut, but it was worse than any racial issues I've ever seen in the South. By the end of my two weeks in paradise I had island fever and other than those wonderful sounds, no desire to return, ever. I'm sure it went both ways.